Assistive Technology is a ‘Game Changer’

Liz was driving home late one night on an Illinois highway when she started to feel pressure behind her eyes and her world went dark for 15 seconds. Testing revealed she had a benign brain tumor behind her eyes damaging her optic nerves. Three brain surgeries later, Liz was completely blind in her left eye and had low vision in her right eye. Her life had completely changed.

Not one to simply accept being dependent upon others, Liz began searching for tools that would help her continue her life as she had been living it prior to her diagnosis. Her ophthalmologist recommended The Chicago Lighthouse’s My Tools for LivingSM store, where our assistive technology experts recommended products based on Liz’s goals for independence.

“The Lighthouse’s consultants took the time to walk me through a number of products and taught me not to be afraid of assistive technology, but to embrace it,” Liz says. “They were wonderful and patient.”

Liz settled on an OrCam MyEye2, a device that uses artificial intelligence to read pages of printed material, as well as identify money and product bar codes. She also purchased an Explorer 5 electronic magnifier to help read complicated text, such as email addresses and receipts.

“The technology is a game changer,” Liz says. “When I’ve got my cane, my OrCam MyEye2 and my magnifier, I’ve got my independence, and that is everything.”


Did you know? Most insurance plans do not cover assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired. You can help make a difference for someone who needs equipment but can’t afford it by contributing to The Chicago Lighthouse’s Low Vision Services programs.

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